Exceptions thrown in the top level ns form are reported without file or line number


  • Type: Defect Defect
  • Status: Closed Closed
  • Priority: Major Major
  • Resolution: Completed
  • Affects Version/s: Release 1.3, Release 1.4, Release 1.5, Release 1.6
  • Fix Version/s: Release 1.6
  • Component/s: None
  • Labels:
  • Patch:
  • Approval:


If there is an error in the `ns` form, an exception is thrown, which is not caught in `load`.

For example, with an invalid :only clause;

(ns clj14.myns
   [clojure.core :only seq]))

With the latest Clojure master as of Aug 24 2013, this generates the following exception, with no source file or line number except the one shown in clojure.core:

Exception :only/:refer value must be a sequential collection of symbols  clojure.core/refer (core.clj:3854)

You can find a source file in your project if you painstakingly search through the stack trace, but it would be nice if it jumped out at you in the exception itself.

Patch: clj-939-v4.diff

Approach: The latest patch does not modify the behavior of any other exceptions thrown by the compiler. The throw-if function is only used in the load-related functions: this patch changes it to throw CompilerException instead of Exception. As a result, exceptions which occur while loading files will be decorated with file names and line/column numbers. The line/column numbers are not always accurate (see notes in attachment but the file names are correct.

This is an incremental improvement to compile-time error messages, but it does not solve some of the fundamental problems with reporting correct line/column numbers from errors thrown by the compiler.

Screened by: Stuart Sierra (re-screened by Alex for the specific comments by Rich)



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